Your emails are an important sales platform. The starting point of 13% of all online sales comes from email marketing. Only organic searching and direct visits are better sellers online. However, the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns depends on how much attention your emails can generate.
One of the biggest problems is that emails aren’t getting enough attention. The average open rate for emails varies between 15 – 25%. The click through rate after this can be anything between 1 and 5%. And then your landing page has to be convincing enough for them to take a desired action. This action could be making a purchase or downloading a new guide.
The open rate is dependent on the email grabbing the attention of your audience. If you are sending regular emails, this is really important. The longer a contact is on a mailing list but doesn’t take action, the higher the chance that the lead is lost and you won’t make a sale. If, however, you can increase their interaction with the mail earlier – the greater the chance that you can:
- Increase the open rate.
- Improve the click through rate.
- Make more sales.
- Grow the ROI of your email marketing campaign.
It should also be noted that you only have 15-20 seconds to grab a reader’s attention. This is the average length of time that a person spends reading an email.
Email marketing best practices are continuously changing, which is why it is important to consider your current campaigns and how you can change them to gain more interest. Here are three of the latest techniques for your regular emails that will grow the success of your campaigns.
1. Change Your Subject Lines
Long gone are the days where you could just use a simple promotional email or one liner like “Your Weekly Summary” and expect your contact’s list to open your emails. A good example about how your subject lines can make a difference is with People Per Hour. The site used to send a message every day about the latest offers available on their site.
Then in early 2015, they changed tactics and created different, unique and more personal subject lines. Almost immediately there was an increase in the number of jobs posted through the site. Before the change they averaged about 200 per day. After the change they averaged about 350. This is a 75% increase and was highly valuable for the online business.
So what should your subject line look like? It needs to have several elements to it:
- Promise to benefit the contact.
- Offer new information.
- Relevant to what is currently going on.
If you can insert these into your subject line, it will perform better.
2. Add Video
Video marketing is becoming a huge success. The combination of audio, visual and text on the screen is more memorable and engages audiences a lot better than just simple text and photos.
Inserting a video into your emails isn’t a tough task – it just requires you to be a little more technical than you might be used to. Speak to your email marketing provider and ask them how to insert video into an email using their software.
Once a video has been uploaded to your messages you can also use them on YouTube and your website to improve upon their ROI and ensure that they aren’t just used once and forgotten about.
3. Be Mobile Friendly
The way consumers are accessing emails is constantly changing. Previously, the only way to have a good experience and open your emails was on a desktop or laptop. Now the world has gone mobile and more emails are opened on a SmartPhone or other mobile device than on a desktop.
Email campaigns must consider this and change the way they display on mobile devices and the landing pages they direct to must also be mobile friendly.
You have 15-20 seconds to grab the attention of your audience. Ensure you do it with the email marketing best practices and you will see a higher number of sales and business growth.
- Optimise your messages for mobile.
- Add video to your next campaign.
- Experiment with your subject lines.
Email marketing is one of the most important sales channels your business will use. It accounts for more online sales than social media, retargeting and banner ads. Some of the best businesses in the world earn the majority of their income from sending out regular promotional emails.
There are several secrets to the success of their email marketing campaigns. You can achieve their success by not making major mistakes which can damage you reputation, annoy your mailing list or give the impression you are unprofessional.
Here are five common mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Not Following Legal Code
There is a massive difference between cold calling and cold emailing – cold emailing is illegal in many cases. According to digital marketing laws in most countries, you should have permission from the list contact to be able to send promotional content. This rule must be followed unless the email address is from a limited company and it has no personal information in it.
However, sending emails to info@ or marketing@ is highly ineffective as it is normally not a decision maker who checks these accounts. Not following these rules can result in a fine which could cripple your finances.
One of the first things you should be doing before you even start sending off an email or building your list is to identify the goal for the list. Something that is strategic and applies to every communication you have.
Whether this is building awareness of offers on your ecommerce site or delivering content that will appeal to your audience – you have to know what the purpose of your email marketing campaign is.
Then when you write each email marketing message, you have to know what the specific aim is for that message (i.e. selling a particular product).
3. Forget To Blind Copy
Many businesses that run their lists off their mail servers make this mistake from time to time; when they accidently forget to ensure that no-one else can see who else the mail has gone to.
This can be particularly embarrassing as you are providing details to other businesses or individuals who might not want their information shared and it also looks highly unprofessional.
To avoid this, use an email marketing software program to hide contact details from other contacts. It looks more professional and more personal.
4. Sending Your Mail From ‘no-reply@’ or ‘info@’
As humans we love to feel the human connection. This is why email marketing campaigns sent from addresses like no-reply@ or info@ are not going to be ineffective. Think of email marketing as a conversation, you wouldn’t talk to a computer or a cash machine, so don’t automate your email marketing messages.
Instead use a named individual to send the message from. This could be a member of your marketing team; however, a senior person in your organisation can often send a more powerful marketing message to your contact’s list.
5. Buying An Email Marketing List
Don’t ever think of buying an email marketing list. These are highly ineffective and can often ruin your mail server’s reputation. Getting blacklisted will ensure that your emails will always hard bounce and there is very little you can do apart from starting anew.
The whole point of an email marketing campaign is that the contact has given you permission and is open to communications. This makes their use cost effective and gratifying.
Email marketing is one of the best online marketing avenues for your business. What you need to ensure is that you don’t accidently make any email marketing mistakes like the ones above and that you are producing high quality content that will entice your audience to find out more information.
What other mistakes can you think of? What mistakes have you made and how did you resolve them?
Let us know in the comments below.
- Learn from the mistakes of other email marketers to perfect your own campaigns.
There are approximately 2.5 billion email users in the world and 74% of them prefer to receive promotional material via their email accounts. This makes email marketing one of the most effective and critical marketing activities your business should be undertaking right now.
While creating campaigns for your customers might yield some success. To make the most from your campaigns you should be optimising them. There are several strategies which allow you to do this. Here are seven strategies for you to implement in your next campaign:
1. Specific Audience
Not every email you create is going to be relevant to all those on your list. For instance, a message about setting up a new account with you is pointless to already existing customers. Therefore you want to limit who you are sending your messages to only those who should read the content.
Careful segregation will limit unsubscribers, lower costs and improve your marketing results very quickly. This can be achieved by ensuring there is a label in your database that refers to what sub-list they should be listed on. Then when you are sending a campaign, use the label to determine who should receive the message.
2. Specific Time
Email marketing is effective because it can be picked up at any time. However, research has shown that emails are generally opened at certain times. You’ll want your emails to be sent at the best times and not at other, less effective, times.
There are numerous studies claiming they know when you should send emails. Many of them disagree with the best time to send mail. The best practice is to experiment and discover when it is best to send your audience emails.
3. A/B Testing
To ensure you are sending your email messages at the best time, and that the design of your message is right, you should A/B test your emails. Start with testing when to send your emails and then move onto the email design.
There are various elements you can test, including image position, subject lines or the call to action copy. By testing these one at time, you can ensure your campaigns become more effective.
4. Have Value
Always answer the question: “What is in it for me” question. If your contacts can take an important message away from your communication: whether it is how to do something or where to get something – then you’ll gain their trust and it will make it easier to sell to them.
5. Mobile Friendly
More emails are being read on SmartPhones and other mobile devices, than on desktops. Emails need to be formatted right if they are to be read correctly on your contacts’ mobile devices. Otherwise your messages will not look professional and this will limit impact.
To help with mobile friendliness, you need to limit images and the complexity of your design. At the same time, ensure your website is also optimised for mobile devices.
6. Social Media
Social media is a highly effective way for you to spread word of your brand to new audiences and potential customers. Don’t undervalue the opportunity. Embed social media share buttons on all your emails. Then the emails can be directly shared on various platforms and this can encourage others to view a web version.
7. Follow Up
After you have sent your email marketing message, you need to examine the results. You should use this to determine who is interested in your content and products. If you notice someone is opening your mail and clicking through to your website but then not doing anything, you should follow up with a phone call. They might be experiencing a barrier that is preventing them from buying. By calling them you might be able to help them to complete the intended action.
Improve the results of your email marketing by using some powerful email marketing strategies above. Then you can generate more revenue from your emails and have a better return on investment.
What strategies do you use to ensure effectiveness?
Let us know in the comments below.
We are often told that size doesn’t matter. Well that is wrong. Size does matter when it comes to your email subject line. It is the first impression your audience will have on what is contained within your marketing message. It needs to entice them to open the email and red further. Therefore, the subject line needs to be alluring, indicate what the message is about and not give away the whole story.
This can be a difficult balancing act. Most people think they need to write an essay to achieve all three. While this can help, it can also be tough to read. Some try for the shortest email subject line they can manage. Yet this can seem non-descriptive.
Both camps claim they have the answer; yet, only research will tell what the impact is on the open rate for campaigns.
The Adestra Research Project
Adestra compiled some results from email marketing campaigns they were monitoring. They looked at how people interacted with a message and compared that to the email subject line. The results they saw were rather interesting. Firstly, they spotted that there was a sizeable bump in success when subject lines were between 10 and 30 characters long. Results either side of this mark were less than half.
Subject lines of this length are often offering a deal (i.e. Claim your 50% off today, etc). Therefore, it is normally business to customer messages that achieve success while being short.
Yet this wasn’t the only interesting result. Subject lines that were between 30 and 70 characters long achieved less than average responses while those over 100 characters seemed to perform well.
There was a particularly good set of results when email subject lines were 130 characters long.
Another study conducted by the president of ShowMeLeads, Madhu Gulati, found another set of results that could turn the results above upside down. According to their research into 260 million emails sent during 540 campaigns, they found the following results:
- More than half (52%) of campaigns contained 11 to 15 words in the subject line. However, it had the poorest open rate.
- Those campaigns that contained between six and 10 words received a 21% open rate.
- Short subject lines (five words or less) had 16% open rates.
These results are almost in contrast to what was previously reported on Adestra.
MailChimp has also studied the problem. They came to the conclusion that length meant nothing and that it was the reader’s tastes that determined whether they would open your message up or not.
While there is some truth in this, looking at the MailChimp results there is something of note. Their results show an above rise in opens and clicks when the subject line is short. According to their data, you are bound to get the best results when your subject line is between 15 and 22 characters long.
This is rather important as it correlates with the other two studies.
It is important that click through rates shouldn’t be a huge factor on whether your subject line is best. Once the audience is at this point, other factors are determining their behaviour.
It is also important to note that none of these studies decided to a/b test the subject lines of exactly the same email to test the results. This might have given a better answer to the question.
To optimise your emails for your audience, consider a/b testing your email campaigns.
There are varying thoughts on what is the right length for an email subject line. Many consider that long subject lines distract audiences and lower success rates, yet others have demonstrated this is not the case. What all the studies do show is that a short, concise email subject line is going to perform better than the average.
What is the average length of your email subject line? What have your results been from your previous subject lines?
Let us know in the comments below:
- Use a short subject line to generate more opens.
- A/b test your subject lines to see what gets the best results.
Creating an email design to sell your products can be a difficult task; especially if you have limited computer and graphic design skills. A well created email can sell your services effectively. Therefore you will need to find an email design program that can create perfect small business emails.
The problem with finding a good design program is that there are various options on the market and not all offer the perfect combination of features. A good design program needs to have several functions for it to be highly effective for your small business email marketing campaigns.
So what should you be looking at with your small business email design program?
The first thing you need to do is to look at what others using the program have created for their email marketing campaigns.
You might be able to see some of the designs in your inbox. Some companies manage email marketing campaigns using free accounts. Free accounts normally include a link to the provider of the email marketing service. This is purely for a marketing point of view, but it is useful to identify what email designs are possible with their email designer.
Secondly, you could go to the website and look at their current clients or example designs. You can find Fluttermail’s through our features page.
This method could be time consuming, but as the overall design of the email is so important, investing your time into this process could be very profitable.
Ease Of Use
You want to ensure your email marketing design program is fairly easy to use. If you do not have any coding skills, then you won’t want an email designer that can only create emails in HTML code. Many modern email designers feature a click and drag interface. This is fairly simple to use and offers great results as long as your internet connection is strong enough.
By checking how each email is built; you can be confident that you can generate the look you are excited about publishing.
It might help your creativity if there are templates included with your email design package. A great template will allow you to tailor the images, colours and what is in each element box. These templates can greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to build a single email.
One of the most time saving processes with creating further email campaigns is the ability to use previous designs and editing some of the smaller details. This is really important because your contacts will want to know that you are being consistent. Using previous designs as a basis for future campaigns does this perfectly.
A template also allows you to A/B test your email marketing campaigns. This can be achieved by designing the email once and editing it for the second version or resending it if you are testing optimal timing.
You need to know your email will display effectively on the different email clients your customers are likely to use. The best designers will allow you to see the results before you send off the email. This can allow you to make changes so your email looks perfect no matter what device or email client it is viewed upon.
Remember to preview the mobile display as well as the desktop as more emails are being opened via mobile devices than ever before. You might also want to see if the feature to test your email is available.
Choosing your email marketing design program can be a difficult process. There are many different functions and features that you will want to ensure the success of your email marketing campaigns. Be certain that the design program you choose contains the above elements for running your successful small business email marketing campaigns, growing your business and achieving better profits.
- Review the Fluttermail email design program.
- Create a trail account for $1.
Your email list could be the most valuable marketing asset your small business owns. Email marketing is one of the biggest contributors to online sales and is a great platform for relationship building with your audience.
There are a number of different elements to increase the open rate of your small business emails. We’ve discussed some of the more advanced tactics to increase your email marketing success including:
These tips are brilliant for creating a sleek email marketing strategy to drive visitors back to your site and increase interaction with your content. In addition to optimising who receives and how often they receive your emails, you can also optimise when to send your emails.
Optimising Your Sending Time
There have been numerous studies researching the best time and day to send your emails. One study of over one billion sent emails found 7% of all emails were opened between 2pm and 3pm and approximately 28% of all emails were opened between midday and 5pm. The study found very few emails were opened in the morning with only 12% opened between 8am and 12 noon.
The evening was far more productive than the morning with approximately 23.5% off the emails opened between 5pm and midnight. This study however only looked at when the emails were opened and did not identify when they were sent.
An Experian study on the other hand did look into the sending time. The research found the open rates for emails were higher when they were sent in the evening. Those sent between 8pm and midnight had an average unique open rate of 21.7%. It is generally considered this is because the number of emails received at this time is lower and therefore there is less competition.
The same study also found the late evening emails had a slightly higher than average revenue per email.
Which Day Of The Week To Send Your Small Business Email?
Sending your small business email on the right day is also important. It is generally considered Monday and Friday are not the best days for your email to be sent.
This is because Monday receivers are generally recovering from their weekends and are looking to get a head start on their week’s main tasks. Therefore, their focus is away from their inbox. Friday is seen as a bad option because your contacts are likely trying to finish off tasks for the weekend and don’t want to start something new.
Generally, people think that this leaves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the main options for sending emails. While these days do receive a higher amount of email traffic and generally 17-18% of emails are opened on these days – research would seem to suggest there is a better option.
Data from Harland Clarke suggests emails sent on a Wednesday have an average open rate of 15.6%. In contrast, an email sent on Saturday is likely to be opened by nearly a third of receivers.
Harland Clarke suggests the reason for this is competition. While the majority of emails are sent on a Wednesday (26.9%) only a small proportion are sent on Saturday (5.5%).
Testing When Your Best Send Time Is
However, the best time for your email marketing may be different and the only way to know for sure is to conduct a test. Try doing a split test and send half your list an email on one day and the half on another day. Do this for several weeks and then swap the poor performing day with another day. Repeat the process until you have a day which consistently performs well.
You can also do the same with the timing of your emails.
- Test when your email marketing campaigns should be sent.
- Let us know how your testing has gone in the comments.
If you want to have a ho-ho-ho holiday season instead of a ho-hum one, you’ll want to do some A/B email testing before the holidays hit.
The areas outlined below for testing are not necessarily new; it’s how you approach the testing, in terms of holiday shopping, that’s key.
If you live in a climate where the seasons change, you know all about how the weather can affect buying habits. As the seasons change, people start to purchase different clothes, different foods, and different recreational items.
While a pair of sandals, a bowl of fresh watermelon, and a set of golf clubs might be the consumer goods of choice in the summertime, it’s an entirely different set of items that will work in the wintertime. As the weather turns cold, people start looking for warm jackets, a cup of hot cocoa, and perhaps a pair of skis.
When it comes to your email marketing program, you can take advantage of the seasons. As the weather changes, people adjust their buying habits. Smart marketers adjust as well to stay relevant for their customers.
Email marketing is always important, but the holiday season is typically the most important time for many. Crunch time for many retailers and other businesses begins in mid-November (sometimes earlier) and runs through December.
There is much to discuss when it comes to prepping your Holiday emails, but for this post we’ll focus on subject lines.